Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It Would Be a Joke Not to Include Bale in Any World XI

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It Would Be a Joke Not to Include Bale in Any World XI

Article excerpt

Byline: Barclay's account Patrick Barclay

WHAT exactly does the phrase "world-class footballer'' mean? I struggled for a definition until someone came up with: "A player you could put in your World XI without anybody laughing."

Anyone who laughed at the selection of Gareth Bale now would be telling us more about himself than the Welshman.

Bale's performance in the 2-0 defeat in Croatia last night was at least the equal of his matchwinning masterclass against Scotland. If ever Ryan Giggs put together as dazzling a pair of displays for his country, no one told me about it.

Harry Redknapp spoke of Bale in the same breath of Cristiano Ronaldo and that was hardly risible either, even if Bale has yet to score a goal a match for Tottenham over more than two seasons, as Ronaldo has done for Real. Bale runs like the wind, fights like a terrier and plays like an angel. And he is still aged only 23.

Bale would already get into any club side in the world because he can fill virtually any position on the pitch. …

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